China’s economic planner dismisses talk of ‘hard landing’

Xu Shaoshi downplayed dire economic forecasts about the superpower

China’s economic planner dismisses talk of ‘hard landing’

Xu Shaoshi, director of China's National Development and Reform Commission. Picture by: Mark Schiefelbein / AP/Press Association Images

Predictions of a hard landing for China’s economy are “destined to come to nothing”, according to the country’s top economic planner.

Head of the National Development and Reform Commission Xu Shaoshi said at a Sunday briefing: “China will absolutely not experience a hard landing”.

"China is fully capable of keeping economic growth within a reasonable range," Shaoshi continued. "All predictions of a hard landing will definitely fail".

"As the world's second-largest economy, China's growth will have a spillover effect on the global economic recovery. Still, I disagree with the statement that China is dragging on the global economy”.

Shaoshi pointed to China’s growth rate of 6.9% last year and the rising volumes of commodity imports as evidence that, while the economy is slowing, it is doing so softly. The 6.9% growth was China’s slowest in 25 years, but still ranked among the fastest rates of the world’s major economies. The country has set a growth target of between 6.5% and 7% for 2016.

Shaoshi’s bullish comments arrived as China’s annual national parliament got underway for 12 days in Beijing.

He did, however, temper his sunny forecast with some words of caution:

"First, we estimate the slow recovery and low growth rates in the world's economy will continue for a period of time.

Also we could not overlook the risks from unstable (global) financial markets, falling prices of commodities and risks of geopolitics."